Never underestimate the value of gossip! Emma D. Hinds, under the pen name of "Rupert," was the gossip columnist and vital records recorder for the Essex County Republican during the period covered. For researchers interested in a family's web of kith and kin, gossip columns can be an indispensable resource, adding regional, cultural, and socio-economic aspects. Numerous pieces of social history linked to individuals or families are recorded here that may not have been noted in print elsewhere. Births, marriages, and deaths are of particular value to genealogists as the period of 1877-1881 falls before Wilmington's civil vital records begin. These tidbits, clipped from a regional paper that otherwise reported little on Wilmington, provide insights into life in a town which had no newspaper. The appointment of school teachers, local schools' closing exercises, church-related meetings, sermons, the coming and going of visitors, and social occasions such as the Sabbath school picnics were all reported along with a sprinkling of disease, illness, crimes, fire, prostitution, and "demon" drink. Entries are sub-divided into personals and subjects, and then each section is further sub-divided into alphabetical listings and chronological entries. The Alphabetical Order by Person section includes the full name, date, subject, and scrapbook page number. The Listing by Event section lists the event, date, description, and page number.
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